The Philippine Ports Authority – Port Management Office (PPA-PMO) in Northern Luzon on Wednesday pledged to continue to improve and modernize its seaport’s facilities and services with the help of the Department of Tourism (DOT), to entice more cruise liners and investors to visit the region.
Northern Luzon Port Manager Marieta Odicta gave the assurance after the June 26 maiden call of the M/S Heritage Adventurer at the Currimao seaport, which is currently undergoing expansion to accommodate bigger cruise vessels.
“Ang pamunuan ng PPA PMO Northern Luzon ay labis na nagagalak sa pagbisita ng M/S Heritage Adenturer dito sa pinagandang Port of Currimao. Nawa’y maging umpisa ito ng pagdating ng iba pang cruise vessel at iba pang klase ng mga barko sa ating pantalan (The leadership of the PPA Port Management Office Northern Luzon is glad with the arrival of M/S Heritage Adventurer in the Port of Currimao. I hope this will be the start of more cruise vessels and other types of ships to arrive at the port),” Odicta said.
Construction and dredging activities are ongoing to modernize the Currimao seaport and allow the docking of bigger vessels.
Previously, the PPA has authorized expanded dredging beyond the originally approved draft of 80 meters long and 11 meters deep to allow for the docking of Panamax vessels.
The Department of Transportation and the PPA began to expand the pier in 2017 for PHP492 million.
The Ilocos region has since become a cruise line destination with the maiden calls of Superstar Virgo, M/V Diamond Glory, Costa Atlantica Cruise, M/V Royal Caribean, M/V the World, among others docking at the Port of Currimao and its neighboring Salomague Port in Ilocos Sur.
Expedition ship Heritage Adventurer was the first to arrive at the Currimao seaport since the start of pandemic.
Ongoing improvement at the seaport includes the construction of ports operations building, the expansion of the wharf, and the ongoing dredging activity around the port.
With the resumption of cruise calls at the port, the Ilocos Norte government said it hoped to entice more tourists and investors and make Ilocos Norte the top choice among cruise liners.
Records from the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office showed that daily visitors in Ilocos Norte average between 6,000 and 10,000 so far this year, peaking last April 7 (Holy Week) at 80,000 day visitors. (PNA)